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arcana imperii :: the book of j

30.7.04

friday's five attributable insults

  • he had delusions of adequacy. ~walter kerr

  • he has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair. ~theodore roosevelt

  • he was as great as a man can be without morality. ~alexis de tocqueville

  • i don't recognise you - i've changed a lot. ~oscar wilde

  • i feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here. ~stephen bishop


  • via satiche.

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    «powell visits a beleaguered iraqi capital where the US administration's policies are in ruins»

    «the americans should be getting out of iraq, not flying in - only then might the country's pride be healed and the violence end» writes jonathan steele, in powell's fruitless mission, an article published today in the guardian.

  • US administration's policies are in ruins;

  • security is as bad now as it was when washington handed limited sovereignty to iraqis a month ago;

  • there is no sign of the chaos improving;

  • a national convention that was due to choose an interim legislature with the right to endorse a budget and veto government decisions has been postponed.



  • 29.7.04

    «underneath it all»

    all I do
    i can still feel you

    numb all through
    i can still feel you
    hear your call
    underneath it all
    kill my brain
    yet you still remain
    crucified
    after all i've died
    after all i've tried
    you are still inside

    all i do
    i can still feel you

    you remain
    i am stained

    ~ nine inch nails

    quotations: al sharpton's speech at the dnc, boston

    al sharpton brought down the house wednesday, 28 july with a passionate speech to democratic national convention delegates and the world about what's wrong with the bush administration and how senator john kerry will help fulfill america's promise.

    «this is about living up to the promise of america.»

    «the issue of government is not to determine who may sleep together in the bedroom, it's to help those that might not be eating in the kitchen.»

    «the promise of america is that every citizen vote is counted and protected, and election schemes do not decide the election.»

    «it, to me, is a glaring contradiction that we would fight, and rightfully so, to get the right to vote for the people in the capital of iraq in baghdad, but still don't give the federal right to vote for the people in the capital of the united states, in washington, dc.»

    one of many standing ovations went on for a minute after mr sharpton told democratic convention delegates that after the nation failed to deliver on civil war-era promises of «forty acres and mule» to freed slaves, « we never got the forty acres. we didn't get the mule. so we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us».

    «mr president, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of goodman, chaney and schwerner, soaked in the blood of four little girls in birmingham. this vote is sacred to us. this vote can't be bargained away. this vote can't be given away. in all due respect, mr president, read my lips: our vote is not for sale

    «as i ran for president, i hoped that one child would come out of the ghetto like i did, could look at me walk across the stage with governors and senators and know they didn't have to be a drug dealer, they didn't have to be a hoodlum, they didn't have to be a gangster. they could stand up from a broken home, on welfare, and they could run for president of the united states.»

    «mr president, we love america, not because all of us have seen the beauty all the time. but we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make america beautiful for everybody. starting in november, let's make america beautiful again.»

    a full transcript of mr sharpton's remarks may be found here.

    26.7.04

    cowardice

    to see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.
          - confucius, analects (bk. ii, ch. xxiv)


    grac'd with a sword, and worthier of a fan.
          - william cowper, task (bk. i, l. 771)


    that all men would be cowards if they dare,
      some men we know have courage to declare.

          - george crabbe, tale i--the dumb orators (l. 11)


    when desp'rate ills demand a speedy cure,
      distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.

          - samuel johnson, irene (act iv, sc. 1)


    a team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. a gang
      is where a coward goes to hide.

          - mickey mantle


    he
      that kills himself to avoid misery, fears it,
        and, at the best, shows but a bastard valour.
          this life's a fort committed to my trust,
            which i must not yield up, till it be forced:
              nor will i. he's not valiant that dares die,
                but he that boldly bears calamity.

          - philip massinger, maid of honour (act iv, sc. 3)


    what a slave art thou to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and
      then say it was in fight!

        - william shakespeare, king henry the fourth, part i (prince henry at ii, iv)


    for my part, i may speak it to my shame,
      i have a truant been to chivalry;
        and so i hear he doth account me too.

        - william shakespeare, king henry the fourth, part i (prince henry at v, i)


    so bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
      are from their hives and houses driven away.
        they called us, for our fierceness, english dogs;
          now, like to whelps, we crying run away.

        - william shakespeare, king henry the sixth, part i (talbot at i, v)


    foul fiend of france and hag of all despite,
      encompassed with thy lustful paramours
        becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age
          and twit with cowardice a man half dead?
         - william shakespeare, king henry the sixth, part i (talbot at iii, ii)


    i hold it cowardice
      to rest mistrustful where a noble heart
        hath pawned an open hand in sign of love.

        - william shakespeare, king henry the sixth, part iii
             (warwick at iv, ii)


    milk-livered man,
      that bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
        who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
          thine honor from thy suffering; [that not know'st
            fools do those villains pity who are punished
              ere they have done their mischief. where's thy
                france spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
                  with plumed helm thy state begins to threat,
                    whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and cries
                      'alack, why does he so?']

          - william shakespeare, king lear (goneril at iv, ii)


    thou cold-blooded slave,
      hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side,
        been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
          upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength,
            and dost thou now fall over to my foes?
              thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
                and hang a calfskin on those recreant limbs.

          - william shakespeare, the life and death of king john (constance at iii, i)


    i would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.
          - william shakespeare, the life of king henry the fifth (boy at iii, ii)


    by this good light, this is a very shallow monster! i afeard of
    him? a very weak monster! the man i' th' moon? a most poor
    credulous monster!--well drawn, monster, in good sooth!

          - william shakespeare, the tempest (trinculo at ii, ii)


    that which in mean men we entitle patience
      is pale cold cowardice in noble beasts.

          - william shakespeare, the tragedy of king richard the second
             (duchess of gloucester at i, ii)


    as an old soldier i admit the cowardice: it's as universal as
      sea sickness, and matters just as little.

          - george bernard shaw, man and superman


    man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for
      his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that
        one is his cowardice.

          - george bernard shaw, man and superman


    the man that lays his hand on woman,
      save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
        whom 'twere gross flattery to name a coward.

          - john tobin, the honeymoon (act ii, sc. 1)


    adieu, canaux, canards, canaille.
          - voltaire (francois marie arouet voltaire), summing up his impressions de voyage, on his return from the netherlands

    25.7.04

    liberating enlightenment

    spotted on the net:

    «the premise: a quixotic young man progresses from learned romanticism to a failed exploration of his sexuality and his life's direction. in short turnaround, he comes to understand that the point is pointlessness, and he breaches the surface, climbs to the top and dives into the abyss, blinded and numb.»
    ~anonymous as of posting time



    understanding the lack of a point, certainly one externally ascribed, is indeed a turning point. it is an enlightening, liberating revelation and certainly not reason for despair. to despair is melodramatic self-indulgence and the wrong choice. probably the result of inexperience, ignorance, arrogance and significantly high degree of insecurity. it would be the choice of the truly weak.

    23.7.04

    friday's five attributable insults

  • a brain of feathers, and a heart of lead. ~alexander pope

  • he could never see a belt without hitting below it. ~margot asquith

  • greater love hath no man than this, to lay down his friends for his life. ~jeremy thorpe

  • an enchanting toad of a man. ~helen hayes

  • a cherub's face, a reptile all the rest. ~alexander pope


  • via satiche.

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    quotation of the week

    «never miss a good chance to shut up.» ~cowboy wisdom

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    21.7.04

    more from aeroflop aeroflot

    you do know that it's not unusual for passengers aboard aeroflopt jets to fly intoxicated and that others travel standing up, holding onto the overhead compartments, while live animals such as chickens and goats roam the cabin freely. and as if that weren't bad enough, the airline recently disclosed that two flight attendants attacked a passenger in an unprecedented case of reverse air-rage: a passenger, named artyom chernopup, complained the male crew was drunk and not doing their job and he ended up deplaning with a black eye. he later reported the incident to the police. reportedly only about half the meals ended up on the tables or in the laps of passengers, the rest ended up on the floor. the stewards had actually begun distributing the in-flight meals only when the plane started its descent!

    spokeswoman irina dannenberg said the entire crew of the flight - from moscow to the siberian city of nizhnevartovsk - had been suspended while the incident was investigated. she said aeroflot did not have enough aircraft and leased planes together with their crews from other companies, which was the case in this flight. she added that the airline was now tightening controls over contracted staff.

    a nizhnevartovsk airport representative told izvestiya newspaper that a medical examination after the flight confirmed the cabin attendants were indeed heavily intoxicated.

    haha, seanw. tack så hemskt mycket! source: the beeb.

    couple arrested for wearing anti-bush t-shirts

    nicole, 30, and jeff rank, 28, of corpus christi, texas, were removed from the president's 04 july rally at the west virginia capitol in restraints after revealing t-shirts with bush's name crossed out on the front and the words «love america, hate bush» on the back. pardon?! i did not know that in the new, kinder, gentler america (ugh!) the peaceful exercise of one's right of free speech and expression as guranteed by the constitution was a criminal offence.

    well, it isn't, but somebody forgot to tell the white house, the secret service and remind local authorities. the couple was arrested and charged with tresspassing yet a judge determined that city ordinances do not apply to statehouse grounds and the charges were dropped. the city council later passed a resolution, which appeared to have bipartisan support, apologising to nicole and jeff.

    ms rank told the charleston gazette that she really appreciated the apology from the city which along with the outpouring of support from residents contributed to a decision to move from texas to charleston. she'd been performing environmental work for the federal emergency management agency in the wake of memorial day flooding in the state and was released from her position after her arrest without getting another assignment. jeff, an unemployed oceanographer, was in west virginia to be with her.

    note that the arrest of the ranks' drew protest from the american civil liberties union, labour unions and others who saw it as a clear violation of the couple's First Amendment rights

    via seanw. sources: the associated press, charleston daily mail and the carolina channel.

    UN demands israel tear down wall of shame

    the UN general assembly passed a resolution last night demanding that israel abide by a world court ruling to dismantle a 451-mile «security barrier» that cuts through (READ, PARTIALLY BUILT ON) palestinian territory.

    the resolution in the 191-member assembly passed by a vote of 150 to 6, with 10 governments abstaining. the united states opposed the resolution, saying that the international court and the general assembly are inappropriate venues for resolving the middle east crisis. [because the only appropriate venue is the theatre of war, right?!... can anyone believe this?!]. israel, australia, the marshall islands, micronesia and palau also opposed the resolution. run the list of nations opposing the resolution by me again? LOL

    the washington post has more.

    «USrael»... lapsus mentis?

    i was just editing an upcoming post regarding the wall of shame israel has built partially in palestine and how the US oppsed the UN resolution demanding its removal and noticed i had mispelled israel and written USrael... the discomforting term immediately conveyed tremendous meaning even though i'd never heard nor read it anywhere before. googling the word confirmed it wasn't a neologism i'd just coined. it also underscored the idea that it is indeed our continued, unchecked, inbalanced support of israel and its policies of expansion and illegal occupation which partially fuels islamist hatred and terrosrism against the US.

    19.7.04

    quotation philosophies of the week

    instead of posting a quotation informing what the first hour of the new week seems to be heralding, today i shall note the philosophies which are already defining what this week seems to have in store...

    • if at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
    • a conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
    • experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    • for every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
    • he who hesitates is probably right.
    • no one is listening until you make a mistake.
    • success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
    • the hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
    • the severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.
    • two wrongs are only the beginning.
    • monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
    • the sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
    • the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an approaching train.

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    a thought

    «one seventh of your life is spent on monday
    and then there is always one more son-of-a-bitch than you counted on...
    and he stings...

    17.7.04

    «y'allbonics»

    not to be outdone by the push for ebonics in california, the southern association of colleges & schools is requesting millions of federal dollars to teach «y'allbonics» in all classrooms south of the mason-dixon line.

    here are some examples which any southerner would certainly be happy to explain further:

    heidi:greeting.
    hire yew:remainder of greeting. usage: "heidi, hire yew?"
    bard:past tense of the infinitive "to borrow." usage: "my brother bard my pickup truck."
    jaw'juh:the state north of florida. its capital is lanner. usage: "my brother from lanner, jaw'juh bard my pickup truck."
    bammer:the state west of jaw'juh. its capital is berminhayum. usage: "a tornader jes went through bammer an' left $20M in improvements."
    munts:a calendar division. usage: "my brother from jaw'juh bard my pickup truck, ann'ah ain't herd from him in munts."
    thank:cognitive process. usage: "ah thank ah'll have a coke."
    ranch:a tool used for tight'nin' bolts. usage: "ah thank ah leff my ranch in'eh back of that pickup truck my brother from jaw'juh bard a few munts ago."
    all:a petroleum-based lubricant. usage: "ah sure hope my brother from jaw'juh puts all in my pickup truck."
    far:a blaze. usage: "if my brother from jaw'juh don't change the all in my pickup truck, that thing's gonna catch far."
    tar:a rubber wheel. usage: "ah hope that brother of mine from jaw'juh don't git a flat tar in my pickup truck."
    tire:a tall monument. usage: "lord willin' and the creek don't rise, ah sure hope to see that eiffel tire in pars sometime."
    retard:to stop working. usage: "mah grampaw retard at age 65."
    farn:not domestic. usage: "ah cuddin't unnerstand a wurd he sed. must be from some farn country."
    did:not alive. usage: "he's did, jim."
    are:a colourless, odourless gas; oxygen. usage: "he cain't breathe give 'im some are!"
    bob war:a sharp, twisted, metallic cable. usage: "boy, stay away from that bob war!

    via andymatic via mezzanine.nu.

    16.7.04

    friday's five attributable insults

  • a graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults. ~louis nizer

  • don't be so humble, you're not that great. ~golda meir

  • he can't help it - he was born with a silver foot in his mouth. ~ann richards (about george bush)

  • he is a fine friend. he stabs you in the front. ~leonard louis levinson

  • he was a bit like a corkscrew. twisted, cold and sharp. ~kate cruise o'brien


  • via satiche.

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    brilliant new word (to me at least)

    bushit: the emanative disinformation from the george w bush administration.

    via satiche.

    15.7.04

    aussie slang bonzer but bamboozling

    the latest issue of national geoographic traveller warns international tourists who think plain english is spoken down under to prepare for what amounts to an entirely different dialect.

    the article reads: «if australians' tendency to turn one vowel into three doesn't throw you, their quirky expressions might» and suggest one should be on the lookout for terms like «it's my shout», «gone bush», «mozzie», «tinnie», «onya» and «fair dinkum».

    the tongue-in-cheek article also defines the word root as «an activity that takes place between consenting adults; in other words, not something to tell a pub full of aussies you'll do that evening for their favourite cricket team».

    it's not just a few quaint or eccentric expressions, mates. the macquarie book of slang's latest edition on aussie slang includes 6,000 entries. some of these, say the book editors, have been picked up in other nations: agro, cop shop, demo (as in public demonstration), dinkum, dumper and no-hoper.

    but where does all this come from? the australian idiom has evolved over the years from the english spoken by britain's 18th century working class, mixed with the slang of convicts, soldiers and settlers.

    source: news.com.au.

    found in translation

    bonzer:  excellent; attractive; pleasing
    bamboozling:  tricky
    it's my shout:  to buy a round of drinks for all your mates (or the entire pub!)
    go bush:  to turn one's back on civilisation; adopt a way of life close to nature.
    mozzie:  a mosquito.
    tinnie:  a can of beer. (also a light, aluminium-hulled boat).
    onya:  an abbreviated form of good on you!.
    fair dinkum:  an assertion of truth or genuineness: it's true, mate, fair dinkum.

    14.7.04

    jk rowling receives honorary degree

    jk rowling, renowned author of the harry potter series of books, received an honorary degree from edinburgh university last week (09 july) and was praised for making reading cool even among the most reluctant readers.

    the university's graduating students gave rowling a hearty round of applause as she was handed the degree of doctor honoris causa in recognition of her contribution to children's literature.

    while rowling said she was honoured to receive the diploma, she remained tightlipped on her progress on the sixth book and whether harry would himself eventually graduate from hogwarts.

    rowling completed a teacher training course at edinburgh university's moray house in 1996 - the same year that she received an offer of publication for «harry potter and the philosopher's stone».

    note: ms rowling wrote much of her series while living in edinburgh as a single mother.

    source: the associated press and news.com.au

    lost keys found... in a man's leg... sixteen years after "loss".

    philadelphia's nbc-10 reports that a rather surprised fifty-year-old iranian man who «lost» some keys sixteen years ago has finally recovered them, following surgery which removed the keys from his leg.

    complaning of severe pain the man was taken to hospital where a radiograph revealed a set of keys lodged in his leg. doctors had removed the bullet but did not extirpate the keys back in 1988.

    since the story comes from the same country where recent reports alleged a woman had given birth to a frog, yours truly must apply the baloney-detection kit without delay. so... the victim of a shooting accident arrives at hospital requiring surgery. while i can't claim any expertise in the standards and conditions at iranian hospitals two decades ago i expect a radiograph was taken before surgery then as it was now and the surgeons either neglected to extirpate the keys along with the bullet (just like surgical tools and other objects are sometimes left inside patients today here in the us) and neglected or forgot to tell the patient (or realising the negligence never told the patient) or made a medical decision to leave them and either informed the patient or not.

    i mean, did the doctors know sixteen years ago? if so, why where the keys still in the leg two decades later? if so, did the patient know? is there anybody around asserting the man in question had previously told a keys-in-the-leg story? i mean, i'm interested in whether this was really a surprise and why...

    shooting your testicles off and gun control

    twenty-eight-year-old david walker, had drunk fifteen pints of lager before returning home from a pub in south yorkshire to fetch a sawn-off shotgun he'd bought four years ago, for £15, for his own protection. now he thought he'd use it to settle an argument with an old pal about whose turn it was to buy the next round. so he shoved the gun down his trousers and on his way back to the public house he accidentally shot himself in the nuts. turned crawler, he disposed of the weapon in a rubbish bin and managed to return home. mr walker underwent emergency surgery and remains in quite severe pain. there are still pellets embedded within the scrotum area of his body.

    he will spend the next five years deprived of his freedom. obviously not for shooting himself as reported elsewhere, but for doing so with a prohibited firearm. recent legislation in the uk regarding banned guns meant the judge had to impose the statutory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

    i am indeed strongly opposed to mandatory sentencing as it is political and legislative infringement upon the independence of the judiciary and i understand the discretion of a judge as a fundamental and necessary principle jurisprudence. i do favour very strict gun control (which in no way violates any constitutional guarantees). it is rather erroneous to equal gun control to alcohol/drug prohibition and conclude that it fails due to the exisence of black markets. to understand the nature of the issue it is necessary to grasp the concept of the legality of possession of certain weapons upon compliance with strict requirements and guidelines and the banning of others.

    mr walker, who obviously lacked not only common sense and self-control, but also training in the use of firearms, thought it was appropriate to use one to settle a personal dispute with a fellow citizen. he deserved a stiff sentence indeed, but one that should have been imposed per discretion of the judge, even if following guidelines, and not by legislators.

    source: the sun.

    just a word...

    philodox (FIL-uh-doks) noun - someone who loves his or her own opinion; a dogmatic person.

    [from greek philodoxos, from philo- (love) + doxa (glory, opinion). ultimately from indo-european root dek- (to take or accept); that's also the root of words such as paradox, orthodox, doctor, disciple, discipline, doctrine, dogma, decorate, dignity, and disdain.]

    hmmm... :-)

    13.7.04

    the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) counter

    at this very moment hundreds of mostly brave american and british soldiers continue scouring the territory of the once-mighty iraq. what are they looking for? the elusive weapons of mass deception, i mean, weapons of mass destruction.

    arcana imperii supports this effort, and so we have now added an up-to-the-minute counter which keeps track of the number of WMDs being located. you may find it in the sidebar (for a while, at least).

    12.7.04

    «callipygian»

    also cal·li·py·gous. having beautifully proportioned buttocks. [from the greek kallipugos: kalli-, beautiful (from kallos, beauty) + pug, buttocks].

    birth

    «there was a star danced, and under that was i born.»
    ~by whomever wrote «much ado about nothing»
    believed by some to be william shakespeare

    «age is a number and mine is unlisted. ~anonymous

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    birthday

    it is six o'clock in the morning edt and it is now my birthday... yes, it should be a national holiday... it is so in my kingdom... happy new year to me!

    quotation of the week

    «discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.»
    ~oscar wilde, lord illingworth in a woman of no importance, act 2 (1893)

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    9.7.04

    it bears repeating... «no formal iraq-alQaeda ties»

    reuters reports that according to a bipartisan senate committee report contacts between iraq and al qaeda in the 1990s never led to a formal relationship and that there is no evidence iraq helped conduct an al qaeda attack against the united states. read tabassum zakaria's full article here.

    wall of shame must be torn down

    the world court (the int'l court of justice) at the hague declared israel’s barrier in the west bank should be torn down and called on the united nations today to stop a project it said had illegally imposed hardship on thousands of palestinians.

    in a [regrettably] non-binding opinion hailed by palestinians and most of the world yet rejected by israel, the court said the barrier violated international humanitarian law and could presage the annexation of territory occupied by the jewish state in the 1967 west asia war. the ruling could heighten israel’s concern about sanctions although the US has vetoed past security council resolutions against it. washington dismissed the UN court’s intervention and the one american on the fifteen-judge panel wrote a dissenting opinion.

    «the wall ... cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order» said judge shi jiuyong of china. he added: «the court is of the view that the UN and especially the general assembly and the security council should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall». a senior adviser to palestinian president yasser arafat said «as of today israel should be viewed as an outlaw state». israel dismissed the decision. «it fails to address the essence of the problem and the reason for the fence — palestinian terror» said foreign ministry spokesman yoni peled. «if there were no terror, there would be no fence.» [naturally he didn't bother to consider the reasons for the alleged terror, nor the fact that the barrier is not in israel but on foreign soil it forcefully occupies...]

    sources: the indian express and reuters.

    cleaning lady wins us$294,000,000 lottery

    geraldine williams, a cleaning lady from the northeastern US state of massachusetts won a multi-state lottery worth us$294,000,000 and stepped forward today to claim her prize, the second largest lottery jackpot in united states history.

    the sixty-seven-year-old grandmother of eight had planned to keep an appointment to clean a client's house this week until she was told she must meet with her financial advisors.

    ms williams said she plans to give some of her winnings to her children and to charities and that she'll also use some of the prize money to travel.

    congratulations ms williams!

    via npr and voa news.

    i heard it on npr...

    «do you believe in love at first sight or should i walk by again?»

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    california education chief calls pre-schooler «stupid dirty girl»

    what it is with republicans in high office? we just had vp cheney telling senator leahy on the senate floor to go fCK himself and now commissioner riordan publicly calling a schoolchild a stupid, dirty girl... the humanity!


    in a shameful and reprehensible public gaffe, california's education commissioner told a child that her name, isis, meant «stupid dirty girl». richard riordan, the the wealthy former republican mayor of los angeles (known for his support of public schools), made the comment during a publicity event 01 july at santa barbara's central library where he read to schoolchildren (watch the video).

    when six-year-old isis d'luciano asked riordan if he knew her name meant «egyptian goddess» the seventy-four-year-old politician replied, «it means stupid dirty girl» while riordan contends that he was just teasing the child, he apologised to d'luciano a day later, claiming that his joke was a «misunderstanding». that explanation has apparently been accepted by riordan's boss, governor arnold schwarzenegger, who called the crack «unacceptable in any context» but has not moved to sack riordan.

    meanwhile, alice huffman, president of the california chapter of the national association for the advancement of coloured people (naacp), is demanding riordan resign his post saying riordan is not suitable to lead education in the state and should be removed. [note that, reportedly, the girl is white, with blonde hair].

    in an editorial yesterday, the sacramento bee said california «shouldn't have an education secretary who makes offensive, damaging remarks to young children».

    via seanw (dankie!), the indianapolis star and the smoking gun.

    8.7.04

    frustration begs enlightenment

    «great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. the latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.» / «great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.» ~albert einstein

    must read: «officials warn of another 'florida-style' election this year»

    have you read the 04 july article by cathy zollo published in the naples daily news? i hadn't either... until today. and it's a must read.

    «florida-style anything sounds inviting as long as it's not an election. but even with the high-sounding election reforms that came out of the 2000 presidential race, election experts including the US commission on civil rights say the country may be in for another round of florida-style election controversy this fall. despite the reforms outlined in the 2002 help america vote act, or HAVA, progress has been slow in implementing those reforms. though florida is ahead of many states in some categories because HAVA was based on the state's election reform act of 2001, voting rights experts say florida still has a long way to go.

    "we are concerned that america isn't ready to vote, and the reason why we're concerned is because of information out of florida," said mary frances berry, chairwoman of the US commission on civil rights, noting the raging controversy over the state's felon list. she also noted issues around poll worker training and whether or not people know how to use the equipment as well as being aware of provisional ballots in the event they are told they are not on the rolls.» continued here.

    read the US commission on civil rights april 2004 briefing paper, is america ready to vote?

    election protection 2004 - democracy needs you!

    election protection 2004 is the nation’s most far-reaching programme to protect voter rights from now through election day and beyond. the nonpartisan voter information, advocacy and protection programme is carried out by a coalition of nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring that every citizen has the opportunity to cast a vote that will be counted on election day.

    you can help protect election 2004: volunteer now!

    are you on the purge list?

    say electoral fraud and americans look as if one were from another planet and something in the water here naturally immunised the country against it. well, many a dead man has voted here before (chicago, anyone?) and gerrymandering has not yet been relegated to the history books. so anybody thinking that republicans and the current administration would not "steal the election" were it to be close enough again best not place any bets on the subject or have discovered the most effective method to date to get out the democratic vote.

    it's not surprising to learn that the state of florida has issued a list containing forty-seven thousand names of «potential felon matches» it claims may be purged from the voter rolls which so far contains more than 2100 people wrongfully listed, as reported by the miami herald. the state has even admitted errors could include the listing of individuals who have never even committed a crime.

    the list is now a public document available as a result of the 01 july decision by leon county circuit court in cnn v florida department of state. following the ruling, the people for the american way foundation obtained a copy to allow people to see if their name is on the list and to take the necessary steps to ensure their right to vote if their name does not belong there.

    if voters want to find out if they are on the list, they can search by last name here. any voter whose name is on the list in error can contact the county elections supervisor or call the election protection freephone hotline at 1.866.OUR VOTE for help.

    think this is far-fetched or a bit ridiculous? allow mr samuel heyward to illustrate the matter for you...

    «sam heyward has voted in almost every election for the past decade or so. but according to the florida division of elections, he's a possible felon who should be struck from the voter rolls. heyward appears on an infamous list - a list of 47,687 that is drawing national attention after possibly thousands of eligible voters like him were turned away from the polls in the election that gave george w bush the presidency. some may have been purged from the voter rolls because of mishandled paperwork or a typing mistake. some may have been law-abiding citizens who just had the same name as a criminal.»

    theists on the rampage, yet again

    president george washington wrote that «[t]he united states is in no sense founded on a christian doctrine». our founding father’s statement notwithstanding, the texas republican party recently reaffirmed its platform plank affirming that it exposes «the myth of the separation of church and state». at its convention in austin, the party asserted that the «united states of america is a christian nation, and the public acknowledgement of god is undeniable in our history» and that the «nation was founded on fundamental judeo-christian principles based on the holy bible».

    the statement’s disregard for the first amendment of the US constitution has led to calls urging bush and the national gop to repudiate the platform’s plank, but the national republican party refuses to criticise the statement.

    via people for the american way.

    «young woman seated at the virginal» fetches over £16m!

    young woman seated at the virginal

    a small picture of a pudgy-fingered young woman in a lumpily-painted yellow shawl (one that for decades has been suspected of being fake) sold for £16.2m (ca. us$30m) at a sotheby's auction last night, a record price for the artist - although since the last vermeer to be auctioned was more than eighty years ago, and there is never likely to be another, a record was no surprise.

    the canvas is small — ten by eight inches — and dates from around 1670. it shows an intimate scene of a young woman seated at a virginal, a type of harpsichord, with her eyes gazing directly at the viewer. it is the last genre scene by this artist in private hands apart from one owned by Queen Elizabeth II. the last vermeer to appear at auction was «the little street» (1658-1660), which was included in a sale in amsterdam in 1921. it failed to sell and was later bought by a collector who donated it to the rijksmuseum.

    the winning bid was taken by telephone and while the auction house is not saying who the buyer was, it is believed to be stephen a wynn, a las vegas casino owner.

    note that the sale price of the painting includes sotheby's commission: twenty percent of the first us$100,000 and twelve percent of the rest.

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    7.7.04

    make bush a one-termer!

    help make bush a one-term president

    click here to contribute.

    this advert is placed here as a voluntary public service by arcana imperii hoping it will encourage readers to become more involved in the fight to returning the US government to a rightfully elected president and an administration committed to the rule of law.

    nb: the contribution link has now been updated to take you directly to the kerry/edwards online contribution page. couldn't be any easier!

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    6.7.04

    behave or else

    i am happy to report that it is still legal to be a parent in the united kingdom and that as such one has the right to discipline one's offspring and with a good (read, mild) smacking when needed. while a bid to outlaw the practice failed in the House of Lords, the upper house opted for for a government-backed compromise crafted by Liberal Democrat Lord Lester, in which peers voted to allow mild smacking. the move to ban parents from smacking their children was defeated, in a 75 to 250 vote. the Peers supported the compromise with 226 votes versus 91 votes against.

    prime minister tony blair's spokesman said the government was opposed to a total ban: «the government wants to send the signal that parents do have the right to discipline children at the same time as protecting the rights of children». he added: «we don't want to criminalise parents -- the government believes parents will recognise the distinction between discipline, which is right, and hurting a child, which is wrong».

    i think there should also be a law allowing the smacking of parents when they need discipline and providing the means to carrying it out.

    5.7.04

    disappointment

    «one cannot have everything the way he would like it. a man has no business to be depressed by a disappointment, anyway; he ought to make up his mind to get even.»
    ~mark twain, a connecticut yankee in king arthur's court

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    quotation of the week

    «what a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.» ~attributed to «shakespeare». hamlet, II, ii, 115-117

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    4.7.04

    happy fourth of july, america!

    trumbull's depiction of the signing of the declaration of independence

    signing of the declaration of independence,
    by john trumbull, 1819.

    2.7.04

    cheney utters the f-word in the senate

    what a class act.

    last week chehey, serving in his role as president of the senate didn't just use the word, but actually told the ranking democrat on the judiciary committee, senator patric leahy (vermont) to go «fuck himself» during a rather spirited exchange on the senate floor. the incident occurred after the vice-president took offence at sen. leahy's imputation of improper conduct regarding profiteering by halliburton and comments refarding bush's judicial nominees. cheney spokesman kevin kellems characterised the event as «a frank exchange of views». see, the bush administration is going round fining howard stern and pushing for ridiculous regulation regarding offensive content on the airwaves yet feel the use of foul language is indeed acceptable in public even while conducting official business: this incident occurred the same day the senate passed legislation described as the «defence of decency act» in a 99-to-1 vote. go figure.

    note that the washington post quoted the vice president directly instead of talking round what he said. the decision marks a shift in journalistic practice, though just a bit behind uk media which printed the f-word last year.

    view a brilliant related political cartoon here.

    sources: political humour @ about.com and the washington post.

    1.7.04

    aeroflot to sue over "curse"

    i guess iranians giving birth to frogs wasn't enough... now the rather "mystical" russians wish to contribute to my despair push me ever deeper into what carl sagan called the «demon-haunted world».

    russian airliner aeroflot is taking legal action against a film director whose latest project features one of their planes nearly crashing after a black magic curse is put on it. let's go over this again: a fictional plane, in a film, nearly crashes as a consequence of a black magic curse put against it... sure thing... ugh.

    Airline bosses have already been in touch with Russian director Timur Bekmambetov over the scenes in his new film Night Watch, demanding they be cut.

    but bekmambetov told local daily vedomosti: «basically every plane in Rrssia has the word aeroflot on it. that's how it got into the movie».

    aeroflot's deputy director Boris Yeliseyev confirmed: «we did not give permission for the use of our logo in this movie. we have spent a lot of energy to protect our trademark. if he doesn't take our logo out of the movie he will not avoid a court action.»

    isn't anybody going to mention the airline's record? aeroflot planes have been dropping out the sky since the first one took off the ground! people fly standing up and holding on as if in a bus, amidst chicken and other assorted farm life running lose about the cabin while the fourteen-year-old sons of pilots sit on their fathers laps and have a go at the controls and fly for a bit... and they're worried aboutt heir trademark? and a curse?!